TARPON SPRINGS (FOX 13) - A man is accused of using money he stole from a mentally handicapped senior to live it up at strip clubs, according to an investigation by Pasco County detectives.
William Tide is accused of swindling the victim, who has the mental capacity of a 9-year-old, out of almost $150,000. He now cares two charges of taking advantage of someone elderly or disabled.
Investigators say it started about a year ago. Tide met the 69-year-old woman online. They say Tide convinced her to move to Florida to live with him, and told her they were a couple.
Detectives say Tide then drained $148,000 from her bank accounts, but that's just while she lived in Pasco County. They believe he stole close to $300,000, in all.
Detective Gary Souto says $9,000 was spent at Pasco County strip clubs.
“[The victim] didn’t have any idea what was going on,” Souto said. “She didn’t know how much money she had, where it was going.”
The victim has no living family. She now has a court-appointed guardian and is living at a nursing home. A bank’s fraud department helped lead to an arrest.